A Little Advice Went Along Way for the Career of Actor Jay Kim

Jay Kim proves that when it comes to finding success as an actor, heeding the advice of those who have paved the way before you is a recipe for success.

When an Oscar-winning director tells you to quit your acting major in college and move to L.A. to pursue your career, what other choice does a young actor have but to do it? This is the story of Jay Kim, an actor who experienced this very moment early in his career.

The director who jump-started Kim’s career was Oscar Award winner Milton Justice, whom Kim has worked with on numerous occasions following their first encounter, years ago. “I took a leap of faith because I trusted him, and it worked out.”

The longer Kim has pursued his craft, the more he continues to prove that it is, indeed, “working out,” as he excels in an extensive amount of productions not limited to theatre, television, film, and music videos.

"I took a leap of faith because I trusted him, and it worked out."

Jay Kim


The most recent productions Justice and Kim have collaborated on include “Woman in Mind” and “Waiting for Lefty.”

In the production “Woman in Mind” by Alan Ayckbourn, Kim stars in the lead role of Bill, who is the doctor to supporting lead, Susan. As Susan’s condition worsens, she begins to experience hallucinations that her doctor is actually a powerful stockbroker.

Playing this role created the need for Kim not to play just one character at a time, but two characters simultaneously: a performance he achieved seamlessly. In describing his method for playing these two characters, Kim recounted: “I created a polar opposite of Bill to serve the stockbroker hallucination. Susan’s world is turning upside down, so I took that route. Bill is awkward, so I made the sly version overly confident; Bill is in love with Susan, so I made the hallucination disregard her.”

“Waiting for Lefty” was written in 1935 by Clifford Odets and was set during the Great Depression. Kim played a leading role as Miller, a young man employed at a sizeable corporation during The Great Depression. When offered a position requiring him to compromise his values, Miller declines and loses his job. As a result, he joins the strike.

“He’s a good man,” Kim says of his character, “a stand up guy who fights for his beliefs and does not cave in.”

Kim also describes Miller as being one of his all-time favorite characters: “both because of the message Odets wanted to communicate and because of the chemistry between the cast… it was absurdly beautiful. I don’t know if one can have the privilege of being part of such a phenomenal cast relationship more than once in a lifetime.”

From the partnerships he has made on stage with fellow actors, to the relationships he has developed with established players in the entertainment industry, Jay Kim is doing what it takes to continue down the path set out before him.

Kim was right when he decided to follow the advice of director Milton Justice and move to Los Angeles to pursue his talents on stage, and he continues to demonstrate this with each new role he takes on.

While “once in a lifetime” moments might only happen once, it is the culmination of many “once in a lifetime” moments that leads to greatness, and as Kim continues to seize these moments, his career has continued to soar.

Categories: Performing Arts

Tags: A Woman in Mind, Actor Jay Kim, Los Angeles Theater, Milton Justice, Theatre, Waiting for Lefty

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